10 Best Real Estate Certificate Programs for 2020

real estate development certificate

For working adults who already have a bachelor’s and want to move into a real estate career, a person can look into online real estate certificates. Earning one of the online real estate certificates can put a person a step ahead of the competition. For one, real estate certificates online are a valuable addition to a person’s other credentials. Moreover, real estate certificates further a person’s knowledge of the real estate field, which can enhance his or her ability to perform his or her job.

An online real estate certificate is also a possibility for individuals who don’t already possess a background in real estate but would like to either be a real estate agent on the side or would like to switch careers. By earning an online real estate certificate, it can possibly earn a person a better position, which could mean more money. A person can choose between options for undergraduate and graduate certificate in real estate online. In other words, even if a person already possesses a master’s, he or she can earn a graduate certificate in real estate online.

Featured Programs

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Real Estate Certificate Programs

For those working adults who want to add an accredited real estate credential to their career without taking time from their jobs, Great Business Schools editors have ranked certificate programs from a variety of sources. For the final ranking, programs are ordered according to factors including cost, reputation, and salary potential. 

1. Fordham University

Fordham University offers three certificates for real estate that include: Real Estate Finance and Investment, RE Development, and RE Property Management. These are the best online real estate certificate programs due to their comprehensive coursework. The RE Finance and Investment course teaches you about topics that include evaluating income-producing properties to excel modeling and determining capitalization rates while RE Development gives students insight into the world of real estate development and the skills needed to negotiate the landscape. The RE Property Management course offers education in the skills and competencies needed to manage and maximize the value of income-producing properties.

Founded in 1841, Fordham began as St. john’s College and is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the northeastern U.S., and the third oldest university in the state of New York. Its current name comes from the Bronx neighborhood where the university is located. U.S. News and World Reports ranks the university at #74 in its Best Colleges and National Universities. The university does not require application to these courses as they’re considered professional certificates for people already working in the real estate industry.

Program: Real Estate Finance and Investment; RE Development; RE Property Management

2. MIT

The Real Estate Analysis and Investment Certificate offered by MIT’s Center for Real Estate (MIT/CRE) is an online course that teaches the nuances and realities of real estate investors to those who want to learn more about investing in commercial real estate. The 6-week program helps students understand the potential income from commercial real estate while demonstrating the mechanics and realities that come with this type of investment activity. Earning a certificate from the program enables the individual to investigate all angles and aspects of making and managing investments. 

MIT, or Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a private research university that has a legendary reputation. The school was founded in 1861 for the purpose of studying scientific and technological advances. The university was integral in defense research during WWII and its graduates are frequently found in the defense, aeronautics and space industries. The school has produced almost 100 Nobel laureates.

Program: Real Estate Analysis and Investment Certificate

3. Cornell University (eCornell)

The Commercial Real Estate Certificate from Cornell University is a six-part course that teaches students the core aspects of the commercial real estate industry. Students get an in-depth look at the business as a whole and learn about the individual aspects that are involved in being a successful commercial real estate operator. Students learn how the development process works and are taught the necessary skills to be effective. The course is designed for those who have prior experience in the real estate industry and are looking to get more out of their career. This is considered one of the best online real estate certificate programs due to its comprehensive nature. 

Cornell University was founded in 1865 in Ithaca, NY as a research university. Today, it’s an Ivy League research university that has expanded upon its original charter to include colleges in agricultural and life sciences, computer science, law, medicine and medical sciences, and more. The college has produced many Nobel Laureates and lays claim to 14 living billionaires that graduated from the university. It also has 55 Olympic Medalists among its many famous alumni. 

Program: Commercial Real Estate Certificate

4. University of Memphis

University of Memphis offers its Professional Real Estate Certificate program to individuals who want to start a career in real estate. It’s also suitable for current real estate professionals who want to add to their education, but don’t want to enter into a four-year degree program for real estate. The certificate program consists of six courses for a total of 18 hours. Each course teaches the topics that are required of a Real Estate professional and allows a student to enter into a career in real estate once they’ve successfully completed the program.

The University of Memphis is part of the public university system of Tennessee. Founded in 1912, the university was founded as part of a General Education Bill passed in 1909 by the Tennessee legislature. The charter of the university changed throughout the decades since its founding until it settled upon being a place for research in the arts and sciences, law, technology, geography, geology, and health. The school currently offers over 250 areas of study and has over 40 nationally ranked programs. 

Program: Professional Real Estate Certificate

5. Lamar Institute of Technology

The Real Estate Certificate offered by the Lamar Institute of Technology is suitable for students who want to work in the real estate industry and obtain their salespersons’ license from the state of Texas. The one-year certificate program provides students with the type of education they need to work in real estate. Some of the topics that are studied in the program include real estate sales, brokerage and finance, and appraisals. The program also trains students in the knowledge they need to pass the Texas Real Estate Commission license exam. 

The Lamar Institute of Technology is part of the public university system of Texas. It was founded in 1949 and began as a vocational school. It was renamed the College of Technical Arts within Lamar University and eventually absorbed into the Texas State University System in 1995. Lamar Institute of Technology is a technical school that offers associates degrees for its programs that include industry, business, health, public service, and safety. 

Program: Real Estate Certificate

6. Drexel University

The Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Online from Drexel University is an online-only program that teaches students the required skills and knowledge to become a successful professional in the real estate industry. The program teaches students in areas that include understanding real estate as investments, development law, environmental remediation issues, architecture, and more. Students who complete the program will have learned how to build, create, and maintain a variety of sheltered environments. However, the program does not apply to real estate licensure.

Drexel University is a private research university founded in 1891. The school’s founder, Anthony J. Drexel, founded the school as a place of educational opportunities in arts and sciences for men and women. The university is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has a student body of over 26,000 students. The school currently offers over 70 undergraduate programs and over 100 advanced degree programs. 

Program: Graduate Certificate in Real Estate

Featured Programs

7. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Real Estate Finance course through its College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture. The certificate consists of 3 courses and teaches students multiple different aspects of real estate finance. Some of the topics covered include learning about capital sources, data sources, discounted cash flow modeling, using real estate industry software and learning how to apply the knowledge that’s taught during the course. 

The University of Arizona was chartered in 1885 and was the first university in what was then the Arizona Territory. It’s a public research university and has a student body of over 45,000. It’s also classified as a Carnegie Foundation RU/VH, or research university with very high research activity. University of Arizona is NASA’s fourth most awarded university for space exploration research.

Program: Real Estate Finance Graduate Certificate

8. UCLA Extension

The Real Estate Certificate at UCLA Extension is designed to help seasoned professionals and newcomers to the industry alike. The goal of the course is to help students comprehend the challenges that the real estate industry presents. Students can enroll in one of 5 learning tracks that include Real estate with no concentration, concentration in property management, development, leasing/brokerage, and concentration in investments. Classes are offered in classroom settings or instructor-led online classes. 

UCLA Extension is a continuing education school that offers a variety of certificate programs, specializations and continuing education credits for students. Programs are designed to help working adults further their education and help undergraduates earn credits towards their degree. UCLA Extension is designed to enable students to pursue their need for ongoing education in a manner that suits their lifestyle. 

Program: Real Estate Certificate

9. Boston University

The Certificate in Commercial Real Estate Practice from Boston University is a 6 course program that’s designed to teach students about the many aspects of commercial real estate. Some topics covered include real estate analysis, acquisition and finance of properties, property management, architectural design, construction and project management. All classes are taught online and students have 24/7 access to course material, discussion boards, online lectures, and interactive multimedia. 

Boston University is a private research university and is associated with the United Methodist Church, but is nonsectarian. It consists of 18 schools and colleges that award undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees in the liberal arts and science fields. The school’s mission is that of offering higher education to all comers and that the education provided by the university have a public service element.

Program: Commercial Real Estate Practice Certificate

10. Baruch College (CUNY)

The Certificate in Real Estate Finance course from Baruch College (CUNY) is offered through the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute. The certificate has four courses that include real estate finance, capital markets, development, and analytical skills for decision making. The course is designed to teach students about real estate investment and is taught entirely online. The classes are structured so in-state and out-of-state students can log in when it’s convenient for their time zone, attend lectures, engage in coursework and talk to other students and professors. 

Baruch College (CUNY) is part of the New York state public university system. It offers undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D programs via three schools that focus on business, arts and sciences, and public and international affairs. The campus is located a short distance from Wall Street, Midtown Manhattan and headquarters for major global companies which gives the college unparalleled access to career opportunities. 

Program: Real Estate Finance Graduate Certificate

Why Get an Online  Real Estate Certificate? 

Besides all the benefits of an online real estate certificate program to a person’s career, a real estate certificate program has numerous benefits when choosing an online real estate certificate program versus a brick-and-mortar program. For one, an online real estate certificate program can be done entirely from the comfort of your own home. 

A person can earn a real estate certificate program online, and it only takes a few months. Therefore, a real estate certificate program online is much shorter than earning another degree. Plus, a person can find free online real estate certificate programs. These free online real estate certificate programs are legitimate and easy to sign up for. 

What Kinds of Real Estate Jobs Pay Best?

When a person earns a degree in real estate or completes a certificate program, he or she may want to know which are the highest paying real estate jobs. A person may want to consider becoming a real estate investor, which is an individual who purchases a house, makes upgrades, and then sells it for a higher price. Although this can be one of the highest paying real estate jobs, it’s important to understand that it’s a gamble. 

Another one of the best careers in real estate is a real estate broker. As one of the best careers in real estate, a person can choose to hire real estate agents and own a firm or can work independently.

Becoming an agent can be a high paying job. A person has to understand that the highest paid real estate agents in USA have a talent at selling properties and understand how to convince people to buy a property or sell one. The highest paid real estate agents in USA are also in certain areas, so it’s important to compare different areas before deciding where a person wants to sell real estate. 

How Much Can I Make as a Real Estate Agent?

One of a person’s biggest concerns when becoming a real estate agent may be the real estate agent average income. Real estate jobs salary is based on how many buys and sales an agent partakes in. That’s because the real estate jobs salary is commission based. Therefore, the average income real estate agent varies greatly based on how active of an agent a person is and their skill. Location plays a role as well. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average income of a real estate agent is $61,720, which is equivalent to $29.67 per hour. Although this is the average income of a real estate agent, the lowest paying agents make $24,000 per year or less. On the other hand, the average income real estate agent for the top earners is over $100,000 per year.

Certain areas have a higher average income of a real estate agent. For instance, the average income real estate agent in New York is $102,310. In Texas, the average income of a real estate agent is $72,480.

How Much Do Commercial Real Estate Brokers Make? 

A person may wonder what the average salary for commercial real estate broker is. The average salary for a broker is higher than the average salary for commercial real estate agent. The commercial real estate jobs salary is an average of $78,940 per year, which is the same as $37.95 per hour.

Just like the average salary for commercial real estate agent, the average salary for commercial real estate broker varies based on the area. For instance, the average commercial real estate jobs salary for brokers in Illinois is $103,430. The average commercial real estate jobs salary in Connecticut for a broker is $101,930. The commercial real estate average income in New Mexico for brokers is $98,350. The commercial real estate average income in Wisconsin is $97,970. 

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl